Additional 200,000 Recalled Vehicles on GM Saab and Saturn Models Over Airbag Issues

By Staff Writer

Feb 17, 2016 01:43 AM EST

General Motors recalls today 200,000 Saab and Saturn cars as part of the more than 5 million vehicles with the Takata airbag issues.  From the U.S. alone, 180,000 cars are affected and 20,000 in Canada. These vehicles are equipped with Takata PSDI-5 front driver-side airbag inflators.

General Motors is recalling models Saab 9-3 dated 2003-2011 and Saab-5 dated 2010-2011. Other models include Saturn Astras which was manufactured from 2008 to 2009. Although there are no reports of injuries, deaths or automatic ruptures of the airbags for these vehicles, there are at least 10 casualties linked to Takata airbags. 

According to Automotive News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) mentioned that these airbags manufactured by Takata have the tendency to explode forcefully and could blast the vehicle with metal fragments.  German automakers also made an announcement about the recall of 850,000 with the same Takata airbag issue. These are Volkswagen AG, BMW and Daimler AG.

General Motors has no intentions of offering loaner cars to people who would not want to drive their cars, according to Tom Wilkinson.  He said that with the Takata inflators installed in the GM cars exploded only during testing but not in the field. "Our position is you can continue to drive the cars as normal" until repairs are made, he said.

Those affected car owners will receive notifying letters about the recall. Their car inflators will be replaced by the dealers and if  in case the parts are not yet available, these car owners have to wait for the second letter before they could bring their cars to the dealers, reports The Japan Times.

Generally, it should be automatic for the brand owner to announce the recall and handle the eventual service accordingly. However, immediate service from the local GM dealer should not be expected.  The replacement of airbags should be completed by the year 2019 where the oldest cars that are part of the said recall would be about 16 or 17 years old, Consumerist reported.

The latest round of vehicle recall due to airbag issues reached to almost 24.4 million which affected 14 truck and car makers. Other car makers involved in the recall are Ford, Honda, Mazda, and Mercedes-Benz.  To date, it would be the largest vehicle recall in the American history.

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